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Michael Brick; Meira Levinson; Paul Tough Education. (2012) 2012 Texas Book festival, featuring Michael Brick, Meira Levinson and Paul Tough. New.

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Kurt Cobain 8, Austin 6, Us 4, Texas 3, Jerry Springer 3, Obama 2, Meira Levinson 2, Strama 2, New York 2, Nation 2, Chicago 2, Harlem 2, Dr. Levinson 1, United Nation 1, City 1, Gpa 1, Naep 1, Jesus 1, State University 1, Annabel 1,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Michael Brick; Meira Levinson; Paul Tough  Education.   
   (2012) 2012 Texas Book festival, featuring Michael Brick, Meira...  

    November 12, 2012
    6:30 - 7:30am EST  

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we are glad to have yell with us and we're glad had our authors with us. our all others are paul tough, author of how children succeed, meira levinson, author of no citizen left behind and michael brick, author of saving the school. there are some distinct austin and texas connections here. my name is mark, i am state representative from austin and member of the public education committee in the texas house and i want to start this discussion briefly with a little bit of edge occasional contacts. i got a press release from the texas indication agency a couple months ago that said that on the
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fourth grade science national assessment education abroad rests, texas, african-american students performed fourth best of all african-american students in the country, comparing hours to every other african american. hispanic students were the best on the fourth grade science naep. a anglo students were the eighth best of all the anglo students in the country. and i thought that is a pretty impressive record. it is a little different from what i expected actually. i went to the naep web site and found that in the aggregate, the texas student scores on the fourth grade science naep ranked 29th in this country. that is not so great. how is it possible that when you disaggregate those three student
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cohorts and evaluate them against the rest of the country, each of the three cote boards is in the top-10%. top-10 in the country. we all know that those three cohorts comprise 95% of the student population. how is it possible that collectively they are 29th? the answer, it turns out, wasn't easy to figure this out, the answer is african-american and hispanic students in texas and in the country significantly underperform anglo students. in texas, african-american and anglo students make up a significant larger share of the entire student population. so when your lower performing categories of students are a larger percentage of the total student population you can have all three student groups in the top ten in the country and still
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be 29th in the country when you combine them. it begs the question are schools doing a good job or are they mediocre? i think if the question is how are they doing with a student population relative to where they started, we are doing a better job moving them up a steep mountain, but because of the demographics of our student population our mountain is steeper than all the other states and the few measure as not based on how are black students doing compared to other black students but rather what is the output of the education system, there we are 29th and the purpose of the education system is to produce a citizenry capable of sustaining democracy and a workforce capable of sustaining prosperity we are not getting the job done. with that as context, this state has a lot to learn from these
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three books. what i will do is ask paul tough to start with his book how children succeed. >> thank you very much, thanks to all of you for being here. i will talk for a couple minutes about how my book how children succeed and give you some background on it. help children succeed is an argument against the conventional wisdom that the one quality in a child makes the most difference in terms of how well they do with their iq. i am writing about a group of educators and scientists who are taking on that idea and arguing for a different set of skills, things like grits and curiosity, perseverance, optimism that they say are better predictors of how well children do in the long term. part of the book is about neuroscience, all the underpinnings of these skills are formed in the environments in which children, babies grow
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up. i spent a lot of time with a pediatrician in san francisco who is watching how to improve environments for kids but a lot of folks also take place in schools dealing with adolescence when those qualities become character. in different ways, different educator's from a chess teacher in brooklyn to a private school principal in new york city to mentors working in the highest poverty neighborhood in chicago, trying to give students the sort of support and help they need to do better in this realm. mostly we don't quite know how to teach these francs, how to help kids improve. what i write about in this book is an experiment, new innovative ideas that might be able to help kids do better in this dimension and in the process help them do better in high school and college and life. >> i am going to follow up beach
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author's introduction with one quick question and get to the next topic. you wrote a book a few years ago while you were reporting for the new york times on the harlem children -- you wrote a book called however it takes, and we very aggressively pursued a promised neighborhood grant from the federal government to try to replicate the model. yesterday one of the students read you a paragraph you had written three your four years ago and your response was a lot of this book is my repudiation of what i wrote then. tell me, i read this book as sort of a validation of the science behind why the wraparound cradle to college model makes sense in the harlem children zone, but what about this book, is this book a confirmation of the strategy or is a deviation from what you
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thought then? >> i think what i was trying to say, this particular line i had in 2006 where i talk about middle-class values being an important part and a lot of this is trying to look more deeply at the question of values to look at the skills that are more important part of what successful schools are teaching in terms of what is related to the reporting whatever it takes. a little of both. i think that it is an affirmation of those ideas. the best way that i know of to deliver services to hide poverty neighborhoods is to do them comprehensively, simply working in a school in a i poverty neighborhood is not enough, that school used to be surrounded by early childhood programs, parenting support, after-school programs to help with college
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admission that we try to provide in the 97 block neighborhood where they work. that model could work in austin or anywhere else. and while it is still little too small for my liking is a good start to try to spur a lot of communities in to replicating that. this does cast doubt on harlan children's own model, and in my first book focused on the charter schools, very focused on standardized tests. as a journalist that was a handy device because each year is focused entirely on how kids do at the standard i sense -- it is very exciting, there's an end to the chapter when test scores come out and lots of principals and teachers and legislators who feel that way as well. a lot of the research that i read to go into this book really
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challenge this idea that standardized tests are measuring skills that matter most for child's long-term success so i have come to be more of a daughter of the kind of educational focus jeff is using or was using in his charter school. i now believe more in the infrastructure he has built around his school to support them. >> meira levinson is not just faculty member at harvard graduate school, she is a graduate of boston high school in austin, texas. [applause] i will let her speak about no citizen left behind. >> thank you. i want to pick up on the dilemma you posed at the beginning with how to interpret texas's naep scores. the question of looking at the aggregate where texas is
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mediocre, dad middle or should we look at the subgroups where texas is outperforming 80% of the other states in the country for every subgroup and what i want to argue is what i talk about in the book is we are obsessed in the nation with a question academically, this picks up a lot of part-time as it takes up a lot of your work when working on public education, thinking is this a good or bad? how do we improve hispanic and african-american students and we put in that versus others and like paul we need to be thinking about much more than academic achievement especially but not only as measured by things like standardized tests and even pretty good ones. that is because not only our kids doing much more than merely succeeding in school or failing to succeed but the idea behind
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school is somehow it should not only be a nice place to spend time, 13 years of your life with all too often it is and, schools, especially that serve low-income kids of color are lousy places to spend time and are demoralizing and demeaning and disrespectful but also the time they spend in that school should prepare them to lead happy, productive, fulfill lives as people, as workers and as citizens. one thing we spend almost 9 -- almost no time on these days is thinking about what citizenship means. and a citizen and why they shouldn't be there and things like that. what we don't take seriously what it means to be a citizen and why it is, and what i write
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about in no citizen left behind is we have the civic empowerment gap that is as large and well documented as the academic achievement gap. so we all know that if you are well educated, a fair amount of money, if you are a native english speaker. you are much more likely to have voted to be a member of a political party to have contacted by a candidate and had some kind of conversation with a government official whether elected or appointed, and protested or done other things we think of as more outside, all of these things you are more likely to do if you occupy a more privileged space in society. that means right now demographic characteristics, democracy determining democracy, determining who actually has power as a citizen and that is fundamentally anti-democratic. we should not be able to predict
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who has civic and political power based on the color of somebody's skin, the language they speak at home or how much money they earn or how much wealth they have in the bank. as a proud graduate of the austin independent school district, i really came to understand my student's opportunities and my own fellow student's opportunities as being structured not only by what academic achievement they have but the ways in which they are able to seize civil and political power in order to fight for democracy and justice on their own behalf and on others's behalf because ultimately it is something to be one child rising about of poverty and escaping the neighborhood which means leaving behind the ones they love and who love them, it means kids together working together to improve the communities where
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they are so they can all lead better lives collectively and lead us to have a better democracy. >> let me follow that up with this concern. i have a background in yachting--getting young people engaged in policies. i run a program called campaign academy, getting people to get involved in my campaign. i love young people's engage and when they are on my side. when we engage the public school system in that, i have got a friend, a government teacher in small-town texas whose views are the exact opposite of mine on just about every question. she teaches a majority/minority class a man she would take them to tea party gatherings, how do
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you address the issue of boundaries and the appropriateness of politics in public education? >> it is really important that we engage students as citizens. one of the arguments i make throughout the book is we right now fully recognize to teach kids to be writers they should be writing everyday. to teach kids to master mathematics they should be doing math every day. we also think it is perfectly reasonable that a kid who wants to a baseball is going to join the league at age 748, play every single year and if they joined the high school team they will be post seasonal and spend a lot of time focusing on capturing the ball. we spend no time asking students to do citizenship, to practice citizenship. if we reform education the way i
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am arguing to close the empowerment gap, you mentioned small-town texas, may be taking her students to tea party rallies but also the support and expectations and taking them to city council hearings and taking them to testify in front of the school board about why they should have an advisory or whatever and have a right letters and she will be teaching a politically engage class but it won't be an ideologically particular class. there are lots of ways to keep the class from being ideologically driven and partisan but still have it be politically engaged and have its citizenship be citizens in the way that they are writers and mathematicians. >> michael brick is a former new york times reporter who also now lives in austin, has texas roots and his book saving the school is about reagan high school.
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that particular year everyone remembers when if they didn't make the scores they were going to be shut down by the state of texas. why don't you walk us through the story? >> thank you for leading the conversation, representative strama. "saving the school" tells the story of reagan high school in east austin. it opened in the 60s as pride of the city, a place that won consecutive championships war europe, big blue banners all over town and 40 years later not much more than a generation, a place that rated academically unacceptable by the state four years in a row. a lot of families fled for the escape hatches of charter schools and other public schools
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across the highway and the year representative strama is referring to is the 2009-2010 school year and what the book traces is one year deadline teachers and administrators reagan had to for lack of a better term saves the schools. it follows the principle, a dynamo, chemistry teacher, basketball coach, and has they tried to raise scores which involve a lot of gaining of a broken system and data analysis and number crunching and realize they are not going to be able to save the school in a sustainable fashion with bringing numbers up. a new group of kids will come through needing a bunch of tutoring. and put into place the thing that a lot of us remember about
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high school. after-school clubs and sports teams we could be proud of. maybe a third of the book is about basketball, a dirty little secret. >> michael is a sports reporter for some of that. the chapters about the basketball, very vivid. >> so -- >> i asked the other two policy questions of this. what would you have written after spending a year inside reagan high school and these people's lives, if jay q. hadn't scored the winning basket against lbj and if they hadn't crossed the threshold of flexibility through the texas projection measure that year on standardized tests? >> it would have been a different book.
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as a journalist, the serious and to to that in terms of journalistic engagement, watching what is playing out over the course of the year, i saw things going in that direction. recognized i am not going to cheer for anybody that at the same time i am not going to have as interesting a book if this doesn't have a decent ending. i don't know if anybody was here that night for that history goes pretty deep. the moment the lay up when 10, i rarely experience moment in other people's lives who are bolstering as winning both of your children. it was a good basketball game.
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>> okay. we are on live national television. my theory of book festivals is too many jerry springer moments. we are going to try to provoke an argument. i will probably be unsuccessful. i am going to try to get them to argue and we have time at the end for questions from the audience so if fireman's successful maybe you will be. obviously one of the very hottest topics in the politics of education is the question of standardized assessments. i will state the case, we have an enormous system and without objective measures of how kids are doing you run the risk of the soft bigotry of low expectations, providing diplomas to kids who can't read them and
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so it seems reasonable there should be some things and to your point about democracy there has to be a common foundation of knowledge. even if we trusted e -- every school that the full rigor, you produce that in a society and as you say in the book, one generation grows up not knowing who kurt cobain and another doesn't know -- literally speaking that changes government. each of you has critiques of the standardization of education. talk about it going from michael first. >> tests are good. standards are good, you can follow any rule out the window. what we have done by doubling
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down on standardized testing, ratcheting up the competition every ten years since the nation of risk doesn't seem to have brought much more than the same dismal rates of the literacy will we have achieved resegregation and i don't know what else could come out of it. >> it would be fine to have a cacophonous democracy if we truly had a democritus -- cacophonous democracy without oligarchy and if we had a cacophony where we really had multiple voices and nobody had dominant voice so i open my book with this anecdotal of kurt cobain and when teaching in atlanta, none of the 35 students i had ever heard of kurt cobain
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and the mostly white team we were playing with thought it was hilarious my eighth graders never heard of kurt cobain. when i explained to my students that for these white kids the reason they thought that was hilarious was the same reason my kids thought would be hilarious for someone not to know master the, everybody knows master p and i would say they don't, decrepit but everybody knows master the of the problem with that disparity is not that it matters that you know who kurt cobain or master key is but we know they will have more power and therefore my kids at the school i was teaching at were going to need to know kurt cobain or the equivalent in order to have the conversations where they would be respected and taken seriously but if we had a truly inclusive democratic conversations and it would be ok
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and exchange to kurt cobain was the equivalent and kids would have to explain who master he was or the equivalence but when you start saying -- you get teachers to start teaching the list because any list is going to be long. at the current time we have such an enormous education system that it may be that standardized testing is the lever we have to keep people honest and it is an important tool for parents and students to have as a way of forcing accountability of teachers and districts but it is a tool that i think is also leading us further into a system of international educational mediocracy and it is not clear how to climb our way out of that
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to obtrusively -- truly professional education system if all we do is keep on pursuing the possibility. >> i have to tell you if you haven't read the book, the scene of her explaining to the kids on the bus that not everybody knows who master the is is so funny. they say everybody knows master key and she says look, all those kids from the other school think everybody knows who kurt cobain is and that is different. everybody knows master key. >> standardized tests, there is a lot that is good about accountability. the idea of high expectations and having ways to measure how schools are doing at educating their disadvantaged subgroups is
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all very important and to that extent there's a lot of good that has come out of the last 10 or 20 years of accountability. the problem is the tests we emphasize, and the work in the current regime are all about measuring cognitive skills. they measure tests from the s.a.t. to standardize state wide test and measuring very narrow range of skills. the evidence is there in the economic literature and a lot of the reporting night did, what makes a bigger difference for students heading ford public universities is there now on cognitive skills, character strengths, the things that don't get measured but are reflected in a student's gpa. if we had a way of measuring those long-term economic and educational results, things like college graduation rates, we
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would have an accountability system that would work better. if you are trying to give a kindergarten teacher a bonus based on how many of her students graduate from a four year college, he or she has to wait 20 something years to get the bonus so practically this might not work but as a thought experiment there's something valuable, accountability could work better if we were really holding teachers and principals and school systems accountable for the educational outcomes we care about. >> i asked you about the boundaries in teaching physics in school. your book has a teacher who is heroic in her relationships with her kids and commitment to her kids but i would think some readers would also find she crosses some boundaries of
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appropriateness in having kids over to her house every night of the week for bible study and really making her engagement with the kids center around her christian faith. many many people would not have a problem with that but some people might. your policy prescription in the book could be reduced to be the nanny state isn't in any at all. and kids are not. how do we address this issue of where the public sector gets into the lives of kids in their homes outside of school which seems to be the gates foundation and education reform movement is so obsessed with teacher quality and what drives positive student outcomes but long before the teachers have an effect the family does and that is why you quote barack obama saying in
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2007, that is what i say every time i am engaged in teacher effectiveness, but that is the hardest lever to control through public policy. where are the boundaries? >> i will take that on. a lot of my reporting took place in high poverty neighborhoods. obama on the south side of chicago. my sense is what is going on in a lot of those neighborhoods is kids are surrounded by a disadvantage that goes so far beyond their school. involves neighborhoods, families, environment in which they live in every way and schools are a useful tool for trying to counter that environmental difficulty, to give them the skills they need to do well in life. it becomes clear to anyone who spent time in those neighborhoods that schools alone are not enough and there are some pretty experimental and
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innovative interventions that work directly with families, and especially in the first few years of the child's like to try to change that environment in a positive way and support families, support parents who are very eager to get that support. it is a kind of intervention that outside of those neighborhoods in the abstract we can get anxious about because americans for good reason think there should be a strong separation between family and the government but in the practical sense, when you are actually there with a home visitor visiting the teenage mom and giving her the support she needed to help her give her baby the right sort of start in life it quickly becomes clear that this is a kind of practice that the public should be involved in in some way so a lot of what we need to do is figure out a way to get beyond the boundary we have created. in those neighborhoods seems a
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lot easier to get through that boundaries and it does in the abstract when looking at it from here. >> in your first question you asked me about ideological boundaries. another boundary we want to cross the right about in "no citizen left behind" is boundaries between the school and the community in terms of students are crossing back and forth all the time between that boundary because they are going home, coming school, going back home and right now schools are too bounded so they can find learning to their walls and often literally put boundaries against any internet content including the most anodyne so kids are prevented from learning and also it means we are not asking kids to do stuff that will actually help the communities in which they live. we basically treat kids,
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especially low-income kids of about color in high poverty neighborhoods as these sinkholes of need. they have all these deficits and all of these problems and we're just going to send resources after resources into the sinkhole in order to try to make them productive citizens and workers and family members ideally by the time they're 18 or 19 and that is highly disrespectful to very confident, capable, self-reliant kids but also it means we are taking their most productive years when they are early adolescents, crossing this boundary, who knows so much about what their communities need and what they are lacking and they are not shy about telling you the park is dangerous and they are more likely to get murdered their than play a basketball game, there are no jobs, the health care services are lousy. they can tell you what needs to be done and if we would have the
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confidence in schools to say we will help you make these differences and changes now when you are 14 or 15, you have a lot of energy and the law time on your hands, we have a school in the community, we will teach you how to make a difference and how to make this park safer, not just to clean up the park but you need to have a partnership with the police and maybe you will need to change some what about assembly and how late you are going to be there and get support from neighbors, the house of midnight basketball games or whatever it is and improving the community and making schools seem like a more relevant place. >> there are a couple seems in your book where the principle that reagan high school literally kind of does that, calls in the student, student leadership, people she thinks have invested themselves personally in the school and says what do we need to do? she has the right this will turn
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around grant. and i thought your treatment of that science teacher was well done because you never talked about the boundaries, you just illustrated them. where did you come away from that experience? >> it was an interesting reporting challenge. i didn't expect it to be such a big part of the book. or such a big part of her story. if you are doing long form journalism and not price, you're doing it wrong. >> a central character of the corm -- before it became so central to her life. >> like any serious minded person has a keen sense of boundary. she never gets in the car alone with a male student and she doesn't talk about jesus in the classroom and i go through the history of religious organizations that have a long history in schools, more here than in the north.
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i know that can this new that if she wanted to cross that line and talk about jesus in the classroom she could have because nobody gave a damn about kids at reagan. >> on that subject, i was struck by the number of times she and annabel told the students that they loved their students. he said i love you to them. and a belt made the rounds before the standardized tests to each classroom to tell them that she loved them. your book cites a study about things you say before a kid takes the test, affect how they do on the test. it didn't test telling them you love them but telling the girl, reminding a girl she is the girl before a math test lowers her score on the tests. what is your reaction to that,
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and contractually the whole argument about some school reformers, a matter of high expectation. that seems to me not a very actionable recommendations but what is the role of expectation in all of this? >> this idea called stereotypes correct, when there are sub groups, whether it is young women, minorities who feel a special identity, anxiety around a particular skill or ability, when they have that anxiety triggered right before a test they will often do less well. girls in middle school math is a perfect example, when girls are asked to write an essay about being girls right before taking a math test date will do less well and there are interventions that can counter stereotypes threats. when kids are reminded for instance that they can improve,
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intelligence is valuable they are able to overcome stereotypes that it is an indication of how important the psychological realm can be in what we think of as a purely cognitive activity of going to school. this idea of how adults in the lives of school children interact with them is really important, you can't teach a lot of these skills by lecturing or reading in the book, lot of these other character strength that make a few different in kids's long-term outcomes tend to be developed through relationships with adults whether it is family members, coaches, teachers, there is that chess coach i read about at length in the book and there's something about that. >> she is an interesting character in terms of boundaries too because i thought her be raiding the kid who lost his test that was totally over the top but you seemed very
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charitably disposed toward her. >> i write about this tough chess coach in intermediate school 318 and there's something about watching her tell a chess player his loss in a chess game was completely pathetic that certainly was jarring to me but there is a way and lots of people in the coaching role can be harsh with their students, whether it is a chess coach or an athletic coach or music teacher, but what she was able to do was delivered these critiques even if they were harsh in a way that made it clear to the student that she cared about them very much and cared how they did, believed they could accomplish great things and was trying to give them chess knowledge and the abilities that go beyond chess to overcome and do better. >> i got to think somebody should do a study was affected
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has an kids test scores of you tell them before they take the test that you love them. if that improves their score. >> she was not a touchy-feely person but was committed to those kids. >> 20 years something crazy? i met this guy who runs the x why zone and that is his old gay because the teachers are so busy doing test drills that they have this guy who is there to do all the stuff you just described and be a mentor. >> in addition to the scientifically proven results establish these relationships it also says something sad about the fact the we have schools where we don't expect kids to go into institution and feel loved and respected and cared for. that is really sad the we are sending 7-year-olds and 12-year-olds and 14-year-olds into places for six or seven
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hours a day where it is often an anomaly for them to see this overexpression of respect and love. we want more of that. >> i agree but nobody ever said that to me when i was in school. i came from a home where i knew i was loved. and a bell said to those kids no one ever told you that at home but i love you. >> what she is trying to counteract is kids are pretty savvy. we have a really competitive system where the schools competing against each other and the losers identified as the weakest link and we get tough on them and even if it is not meant to transferred to them that is what teachers like annabel are trying to to work against. >> one of my students said to me -- two of my students were talking and i told one of them i thought he was smart and he said
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dr. levinson always says that and the second student says but she means it. and that was something, they had this conversation about what it meant that i actually believe each of them was smart and wanting them to do better. you may not have had a teacher tell you they love you but you also in new york teachers valued un respected you. >> i know you all think you are pretty smart but there's no better judge of the authenticity of a human being than the kids in those schools. they smell a rat. i will tell you all of you have questions, time to start lining up. i will throw one more topic out in advance and i remind those of you with questions that we're seven days from an election if nobody's going to ask about the political vacations' of this what you're going to leave it to me to do that. i want to say something about
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these nonacademic programs. you mentioned nation at risk study in 1983. that is what i was in high school. they pronounced my generation the dumbest group of people the american public education system ever produced and predicted we would lead the american economy into the third world. what actually happened when we get the workforce that work force was the biggest productivity boom in american economic history. i know the liabilities of claiming credit for inventing the internet but we pretty much did. the standardized tests that were the basis of the nation at risk report were wrong about my generation. it turns out we had learned some things in school that didn't show up in the tests and the best theory i heard of why that doesn't get measured is we have this rich extracurricular environment in our schools, not just debate and student journalism but basketball and
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football where kids learn competition, team work, problem solving, and in civics education there is no better way to learn government and threw things like junior statesmen and united nation. other than actually going to city hall in changing the law yourself. and extracurriculars that reagan were a magnet to address the problem of truancy and dropping out. so we quickly cover, is that a measurable thing we should be investing in through policy? any specific ideas? is this something we undervalued? >> and on measurable thing we should be investing in. >> it is a measurable thing we should be investing in. not measurable in terms of output but in terms of input. massachusetts has a lot that says every high school as to have a student government that is not just about the dances.
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they need to have a budget and have to have a policymaking power. we could measure that and whether schools actually have real student newspapers, whether they had organizations where kids were in control. all of those things are important. >> part of the problem with that accountability regime that is narrowly focused on short-term results is when it is time to make cuts as always seems to be in education politics we cut those things that don't necessarily show up in next week, next year's test scores. you can make that case for extracurricular, maybe they aren't going to help with your standardized test scores but there's evidence and we all know from our own lives that a lot of the transforming experiences that kids have in school happen outside the classroom and so i think it is another downside to looking at accountability in this narrow way. if we were looking at
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accountability for how kids do through life we would continue to fund these extracurriculars the change lives all the time. >> 14 minutes to cover a lot of questions lining up. let's try to ask some quickly and direct it to one speaker unless it is oral. >> maybe a bit off topic but it is a hot topic in texas, school vouchers depreciate, opinions and thoughts, solutions. is that a problem? >> who wants to go first? >> this is one of the reason standardized tests are so important in this conversation. if we are going to give vouchers or have charter schools or other forms of publicly funded schools that don't have public oversight then we need some means of insuring they are providing kids and education that we the public feel comfortable funding and right now the only mechanism for doing that is these cognitively
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oriented, narrow standardized tests. having a flowering of educational opportunities for kids that are publicly funded is good but we need to give the public a pre strong voice in terms of insuring these are things we are willing to put our public money toward and they are doing good things for kids and ideally we would have a much wider array of measures on which we would look at schools and look at educational programs in order to make sure kids are really getting what they deserve. >> either we want to pursue the ideal of equality public education for all kids or not. if the answer is yes let's do that if the answer is no than vouchers, charters, take your pick. >> you asked all of us to throw out -- we had an experiment last ten years in public policy with something called supplemental education will services and the and the child left behind act.
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you mentioned for profit tutors that descended upon reagan seeking the vouchers for private tutoring. dione tutoring company with my wife and we know this market. is a terrible public policy. doesn't work. because frankly the choices being exercised in that marketplace are not best for the kids and the educators who run those schools would spend the money better than is being spent through vouchers. choice works well for a lot of kids using charter schools because they come from a family or have within themselves the character, qualities, social capital they make great educational fleeces and aggregate themselves among other kids who made a great choice for themselves but the vast majority of kids in the school system haven't made that choice.
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what happens as a result is the schools that left to educate the ones that have not taken that initiative and don't bring that social capital with them to school are left with an even more challenging student population to educate and there is no evidence and there is an empirical record to look for the evidence and there's no evidence that those families that haven't exercised choice for charter schools, that didn't exercise a choice with the vouchers they were given the the supplemental education service bill that they're going to make great decisions for their kids under vouchers instead the whole idea gets really politically hot when there's funding from vouchers. that will change the debate a lot. next question. >> i agree there needs to be some accountability in standardized tests, one way to get that accountability. how do you make that accountability or that tests for performance into a carrot
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instead of a stick? >> how the make the accountability system a carrot instead of a stick? let me add is that. you said we need to broaden what we are measuring. is there a proposal to do that? is there a concrete, actionable public policy agenda that i haven't seen that has a standard way of measuring the bigger things we want for our kids than their ability to bubble answers on a standardized test? >> measurement has to be a tool. i don't know that you want accountability to be a carrots anymore than you wanted to be a stick. the only reason to have tests is because that is a fool when you don't have another tool to figure out how kids are doing but that won't improve the system. testing a kid is not in itself going to tell the teacher how to
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teach better or a district how to run itself better or a state how to allocate funds any better. when you are asking about is there something out there is not another accountability tool we want to find. the question is is there something we understand about how to improve practice? how to teach kids better? we know a fair amount about that. it is research intended and would take treating teachers as professionals and attracting really top-notch people into the profession and mentoring them over time and making all sorts of changes we have not been willing to make as the country. >> how we do it as a carrot rather than a stick michael's folks chose the arm of the stick creating a pressurized environment that made it hard for them to do education in the joyful way education should be done. but there is a carrot to try to
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incentivize, get kids to come to school. they get more funding every day the kitchen is of. the stake was if they don't show up we are setting the school down and that caused the school to go door-to-door dragging kids to school. was that stick, the net effect was more kids got educated than would have without the stick. did it do more harm than good? >> interesting way of looking at it. there were some much bigger branches that have been swung at reagan before that stick came around and parents are getting letters sent home that the school is academically unacceptable. go to another one if you configure out how to get over there. at that point, what you are left
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with is disproportionate group of english language learners and poor people and the stick worked. i don't see that as a policy model. >> next question. >> i am a progressive living in austin and someone sent me the republican party platform and in the air they do not want creative thinking taught in public schools. you can check me on this. they do not want creative thinking and that is certainly what we need. >> the language was higher order thinking skills. >> i'm in favor of creative thinking in schools. >> anybody want to be against it? >> next question. >> i am currently a graduate student at texas state
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university in music education. i was a public school band director in a small rural school in east texas for two years and you have mentioned the role of extracurricular activities in keeping kids involved in schools in their own education. i wonder if you could comment of a little bit on a roll of the arts. the comments you have made so far, you mentioned chefs, student government, athletics. if you could comment on what you think the role of the arts should be. [applause] >> i will take a swing at it and turned over to my fellow panelists. the arts are important in all sorts of ways. they're important just because they engage kids, gives get excited about taking part in them, they make for more well-rounded students. in terms of the way that i saw
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the skills and action in my reporting one of the things that is so effective about music teachers and art teachers is they are in the same kind of training role with students the same way the chesty dry run about was that sports coaches are and one thing that is becoming clear about the skills i am talking about is they do get developed most effectively through those close relationships and through what the chess teacher does, and goes over the mistakes kids make over and over again and there's this feedback loop kids get that can be incredibly positive and music teachers and our teachers are doing the same thing all the time. you see the mistakes you make and you are getting help in correcting them. is much harder for math teachers, geography teachers and science teachers to do that. is not impossible but in lots of ways the relationship and our teacher has with his or her student is a good model for
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other teachers to follow. >> we're down to four minutes and i have been unsuccessful in two goals. we haven't talked about marshmallows which means you all have to read paul's book because it is essentially about marshmallows and we haven't had jerry springer moment. in the last three minutes i'm going to provoke the jerry springer moment by asking each of you. we have an erection in a week. what are the lessons of your book for the two guys running for president, what the implications of various possible outcomes in this election for the things you care about in your book? >> i will go first. if you look at the two presidential candidates this is an area in which they don't seem to disagree. the way they talk about education is relatively similar which is potentially disturbing to democrats and republicans who tend to think the other person
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is wrong about everything. i actually think there are many more creative and productive ways we could be running education in washington. the way the race to the top is focused on accountability, good in theory. in practice i am worried it is putting the wrong incentives and to place and a broader federal mandate for education that would include things that go beyond schools would help the matter who is president. >> if president obama stays presidents, and collected another four years and wants to ensure the privacy of the democratic party nationally over the next 40 years he should expand civic education in schools enormously because public schools in the united states are becoming ever more poverty stricken and never more

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